President Donald Trump stated that U.S. intelligence authorities had “just” informed him there was no reliable info recommending Russian intelligence had actually provided to pay bounties to Taliban militants who eliminated American soldiers.
Because of this, intelligence authorities had not at first reported the claims to him or Vice President Mike Pence, Trump composed in a tweet late Sunday.
Three individuals informed on the matter informed NBC News that the United States had actually collected intelligence that Russian intelligence officers had actually provided to pay the bounties. NBC News has actually not validated that the U.S. validated that any such bounty payments were made.
In an interview with NBC News on Monday, Dmitry Peskov, representative for Russian President Vladimir Putin and a senior figure inside the Kremlin, rejected Russian intelligence officers had actually provided these bounties.
“You know, maybe I can say it’s a little bit rude but this is 100 percent bulls—,” Peskov stated when inquired about the U.S. intelligence. “It’s an undiplomatic thing, but it’s bulls—.”
On whether any authorities in the U.S. had actually raised the subject with their Russian equivalents, Peskov stated, “As far as I’m concerned none of the American representatives have ever raised this question” with their Russian equivalents through federal government or diplomatic channels.
Peskov likewise stated that he was uninformed of any discussions in between the U.S. and Russian armed forces since “they have their own dialogue system” which contained “restricted information.”
For more on this interview watch NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt tonight at 6: 30 p.m. ET/5: 30 p.m. CT.
The news initially reported by The New York Times on Friday set off require a congressional examination.
NBC News’ sources were unable to make it clear how convincing the intelligence is. A source informed the Times that the evaluation was based in part on interviews with Afghan detainees. That alone would not show the case, however the U.S. would likely have actually attempted to get interactions intercepts from the Russians that shed light. In the past, the National Security Agency has actually had success permeating Russia’s military intelligence system, the GRU.
Earlier, Trump tweeted that “nobody briefed or told me,” Vice President Mike Pence or White House chief of personnel Mark Meadows about the intelligence. He required the Times to “reveal” its sourcing.
Late Saturday, National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe likewise rejected Trump had actually been informed.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany likewise stated in a declaration Saturday that the president and other leading authorities were not “briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence.”
However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informed ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday the president “wants to ignore any allegation against Russia” by rejecting understanding of the intelligence.
“The president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed,” she stated. “Whether he is or not, his administration knows, and our allies — some of our allies who work with us in Afghanistan — had been briefed and accept this report.”
The intelligence had actually been shown congressional leaders and the British federal government, according to NBC News sources.
The president’s most current remarks followed a call by Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., for Congress to “get to the bottom” of the reports.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who is on the Armed Services military workers subcommittee, likewise required a joint congressional examination in a declaration Sunday.
A senior administration authorities informed NBC News on Monday some members of Congress will be informed at the White House on the Russia matter.
An intelligence authorities stated the report is not especially unexpected provided the stuffed history in between the U.S. and Russia. The U.S. armed Afghan fighters with rockets to shoot down Soviet helicopters in the 1980s when the Soviet Union was battling in Afghanistan, part of a CIA concealed action that eliminated lots of Russians. In 2018, U.S. forces eliminated a variety of Russian mercenaries who were running with pro-regime forces in Syria.
Kelly O’Donnell, Matthew Bodner , Ken Dilanian, Courtney Kube and Kristen Welker contributed.